A Roman Catholic deacon who is a former nurse is on trial in Belgium on Monday after he reportedly killed at least 10 people, including his own mother, by injecting air into their veins, according to AFP.
The man identified as Ivo Poppe, 61, dubbed the “Deacon of death” by local media is said to be one of the worst serial killers in Belgian history if convicted in the trial in the town of Bruges.
Poppe was originally arrested in 2014 after authorities were told that he had confessed to his psychiatrist that he had “actively euthanised dozens of people.”
He made two partial confessions during the inquiry, but later retracted them and has since denied the charges against him.
Poppe spent 20 years working as a nurse at a clinic in Menin, near the French border, and another 10 as a pastoral visitor after being ordained as a deacon.
He is formally accused of killing at least 10 people, including his mother, three other relatives and two patients.
But officials believe the real toll could be much higher, with the inquiry having established a list of at least 50 suspicious deaths based on notes in his diary, which included a count of fatalities at the clinic.
Most of the suspected victims died from an injection of air into their bloodstream.
He claimed during the investigation to have acted “out of compassion, to spare the physical and mental suffering” of people often nearing the end of their lives.
The final victim he is accused of killing is his own mother, who died in 2011 aged 89, while she was suffering from depression.
Her doctors however denied that she wanted to be euthanised as her son had claimed, Belgian media reported. The trial is set to last two weeks and include testimony from dozens of witnesses, relatives, psychiatrists and officials from the diocese. THINK YOUR FRIEND WOULD BE INTRESTED? SHARE THIS STORY USING ANY OF THE SHARE BUTTON BELOW ⬇ PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>